- Feels sad or down
- Has decreased interest and enjoyment
- Experiences decreased energy
- Feels guilty or worthless
- Thoughts about death and suicide
Major Depression is quite common in that 10% of the general population may experience it at some time in life. In 50% of cases, major depression is recurrent; that is, half the people will experience more than one episode.
This illness used to be called manic-depressive illness. There are several phases:
- Same as major depression
- Usually less severe symptoms
- Many recover completely
- May look different for different individuals
It is a chemical imbalance in the brain with an excess of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Genetics play a strong role but family history is not always present. It may also be influenced by stress.
Course of Illness:
There may be an increase in episodes with age but the illness is usually better controlled with treatment over the years.